Study to Evaluate Shorter Course Antibiotics Use in Children

An NIAID sponsored clinical trial will assess effectiveness of a 5-day course of antibiotics in treating community-acquired pneumonia in children.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is sponsoring a clinical trial to determine if a 5-day course of antibiotics vs a 10-day course is effective in treating community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in children.1

The study, SCOUT-CAP (Short Course vs Standard Course Outpatient Therapy of CAP in Children; Identifier: NCT02891915), will enroll children ages 6 months to roughly 6 years who have been diagnosed with CAP and who showed clinical improvement with treatment. It will evaluate short courses of the oral antibiotics amoxicillin, amoxicillin-clavulanate combination, and cefdinir. The estimated enrollment is 400 children, where half the children will receive the standard 10-day course of antibiotics and the other half will receive the shorter 5-day course.

Five US medical centers will be involved in the study: Duke University, Vanderbilt University, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

The trial will use 2 novel methodologies developed by the NIAID-funded Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG): the desirability of outcome ranking (DOOR) and the response adjusted for duration of antibiotic risk (RADAR).2 This “evaluation method [is] specifically designed to assess the best treatment strategies with a goal of reducing children’s exposure to antibiotics and ultimately reducing the potential for developing resistance to antibiotics.”

“This study aims to determine whether we can effectively treat young children for community-acquired pneumonia with a shorter course of antibiotic therapy than is currently the standard. Using only the amount of medication that is needed—and no more—not only is good for patients but could also help conserve the long-term effectiveness of available drugs” said Anthony S. Fauci, MD, Director of NIAID.

The SCOUT-CAP trial is estimated to end in March 2019.

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  1. NIAID-sponsored study to assess shorter-duration antibiotics in children [news release]. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health; Published November 28, 2016.
  2. Evans SR, Rubin D, Follmann D, et al. Desirability of outcome ranking (DOOR) and response adjusted for duration of antibiotic risk (RADAR). Clin Infect Dis. 2015;61:800-806. doi: 10.1093/cid/civ495